Rangitikei MP Ian McKelvie is pleased that his Sentencing (Livestock Rustling) Amendment Members Bill has been adopted by the Government as a Supplementary Order Paper on the Crimes Amendment Bill.


“Stock rustling is a crime that cuts to the heart of many rural families and the farming community.


“Theft of livestock from farms or property is estimated to cost the farming community over $120 million a year. More recently, the risk to farms of Mycoplasma bovis spreading through stock theft has added strength to the call to take action.


“This activity is not only a threat to farming businesses, but it also creates a risk to people’s safety in rural parts of New Zealand, as rustlers are often armed and equipped with tools to assist them.


“Farming families can also suffer psychological effects from stock thefts, and it can even lead to mistrust among fellow locals.


“My Members Bill had its First Reading in Parliament in February. I have been working alongside the Government through the Primary Production Select Committee to make sure this law change can be progressed in the fastest way possible.”


This law change proposes two new offences to be added to the Crimes Act. Theft of livestock or other animal, carrying a maximum penalty of 7 years imprisonment. It also introduces a new offence of unlawful entry to land used for agricultural purposes, where the offender intends to steal livestock or act unlawfully against specified things, such as buildings or machinery, on that land, that carries up to 10 years imprisonment.


“I want rural New Zealanders to feel safe and to reassure victims of livestock rustling that there is an additional deterrent in place to discourage this type of crime.


“This law change sends a strong message to potential rustlers that these acts are abhorrent, and that if caught, you can expect the full treatment.


“National’s position on law and order is simple. We stand on the side of victims by reducing crime, tackling the causes of reoffending and keeping New Zealanders safe.”

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